Parent Coaching Service

This  coaching service builds on our commitment to positive parent mental health and parent wellness and the key part it plays in positive family functioning, relationships and outcomes for the child and family as a whole. You can book a coaching session (subject to availability) with any of the coaches by email – see the “Meet the Coaches” section below for contact details.

Why a coaching service ?

Research studies have shown that the parents of special needs children experience higher levels of stress and anxiety and this can have a negative impact on parent wellness. A diagnosis of autism in a family is described by some parents as the most emotionally challenging event in their lives. The feelings that parents most commonly describe when their child receives a diagnosis of autism are feelings of devastation, grief, loss, distress, anger and helplessness with many describing it  as a life altering event and this can be is a very challenging time for parents. Parents raising a child or adolescent with autism also continuously face practical, financial and physical challenges. Changes to the family dynamic allied to the additional levels of care required for the child place additional emotional and practical pressure and demands on the parents.  The most common stressors experienced by parents are frustration, the judgement of others, potential negative impact on the family unit and a lack of support and understanding.

Coaching is an accepted strategy to manage stress and improve performance and self efficacy underpinned by coaching models grounded in established therapeutic approaches. Similarly coaching has also been working in the areas of client self-esteem and self-efficacy and offers the coachee the opportunity to move forward through increased self belief, self-motivation, choice, clarity, commitment, awareness and action. Improved parent mental health and wellbeing has been shown to increase the potential of the child and family members to achieve a better quality of life.  A recent study in 2015 on psychological adjustments in families with a child with autism found that the parents of children with autism who engage in the action-orientated behaviours of acceptance and positive reframing have increased levels of emotional resilience and a reduction in their levels of stress.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a supportive relationship where the total focus is on you, on what you want in your life, and on what will help you achieve it. A life coach is there to listen not only to your words but what is behind your words and listens to the very best in you, when sometimes you can’t hear it yourself. A coach will listen without judgement and give you the opportunity to work with  some of the issues in your life that are blocking you from performing at your best. The coach will facilitate a process where you begin to set personal goals to change and help you to develop the actions required to achieve them.

Coaching is about looking forward and supporting people in a creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal  potential and is a particularly effective process in encouraging and building resilience with people in the face of difficulty and adversity.


Meet our Coaches:

Liam O’Sullivan:












Liam has many years experience in working with people having managed various business teams within a large Financial Services organisation and specifically worked in Human Resources for several years. Liam is drawn to Special needs parenting and the use of coaching as an intervention, by a desire to make a difference  to people and their particular challenges. He holds a Higher Diploma (1st) in Coaching and Coaching Psychology from UCC and a Diploma In Personal & Management Coaching (UCC). Liam also holds a Masters in Personal and Management Coaching also from UCC. He is a member of the  Association for Coaching(AC) and the International Coach Federation(ICF).

Contact Liam for an appointment:

Kieran McAuliffe:



Kieran has a particular interest in parent wellness and resilience and the use of coaching and coaching psychology to build enhanced coping and thinking skills.  Kieran is the General Manager of the Shine Centre and has worked in the disability sector for the last 10 years. He studied in University College Cork and holds a Masters in Coaching and a Higher Diploma in Coaching and Coaching Psychology. Kieran also completed a Post Grad Diploma in Personal & Management Coaching in UCC and has completed Change Management and Leadership programmes with the IMI. Kieran is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the International Association for Coaching (AC). Kieran is also certified as as a Psychometric Test Administrator in Personality and Ability by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Contact Kieran for an appointment:


Ellu Cooney Kuldkepp:


Ellu is the Family Support Officer here at Shine and has extensive experience of working with children with autism and their parents. Ellu previously worked for 10 years as a class teacher in the Shine Early Learning Unit. Ellu is passionate about the wellbeing of parents and the ongoing development of their strengths and coping skills to create the best possible outcome for the family as a whole. Ellu holds a BSc in Psychology and a Masters in Positive Psychology & Coaching from University College Cork and is a member of the Association for Coaching (AC).

Contact Ellu for an appointment:

This programme is supported by:


If you need any further information or clarification about this service, please contact us on 021 4377052


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